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Preschool Class: Checklist of Must-Haves

When people hear you teach preschool, most of them will say: “Aww, that’s sweet.” It is. But it is also a lot of hard work, especially since classes have shifted online. Most people have little to no idea about what it takes to teach little kids, go over some of the must-haves from other teachers.

If you are new at this and you’re looking for tips to help you improve your classes, here are a few tips to help you become a great teacher at a Tokyo Montessori school.

Get the Rest Mats Ready

Preschoolers love to be comfortable on the floor. If you’re doing the classes online, you’ll want to talk to the parents beforehand so they can prepare the rest mats and floor cushions in advance. That way, when you switch to naptime or storytime or even playtime, the kids can move to the floor with ease and the session can continue without fail. That’s one way to ensure that your classes continue uninterrupted.

Master Your Materials and Tools

Every teacher knows it is necessary to be prepared before you go to class or log in. It’s no different when you’re teaching preschoolers. You’ll want to be ready and that means having an excellent understanding of your material. Do you have your books or module ready? What about the e-learning tools? Make sure you master online programs and mobile learning apps to help you create and deliver the best possible learning experience for the kids.

Know the Best Practices

Make sure you’re familiar with the best practices in the field. What approaches work? Which ones generate the most engagement in your students? What techniques are ideal for getting the kids interested? What motivates them to work harder? Keep these questions in mind to help you perform self-checks to determine which of your practices are ideal and which ones are better forgotten.

Create the Best Learning Environment

Pay attention to the atmosphere you create in your classes. You can make the kids more comfortable by being careful about the items or details that the kids can see in the background. It helps them participate much more actively in the sessions. If your background in the classes is cluttered, that could distract them, hurting their concentration levels and attention span. Imagine if the children can see a sofa laden with laundry in the background during an online class. It is important to get rid of the mess and clutter, in both classrooms. You need an organized background to contribute to a wonderful learning environment.

Use Diverse Means

The shift to virtual classrooms means that teachers are now tasked with the bulk of teaching responsibilities and tasks, many of which include finding better ways to get the lessons across to the students. But using the same techniques could bore your students, especially preschoolers. After all, it’s not easy sitting in front of a laptop or computer for hours. Kids have boundless energy and to ask them to sit still for all day sessions can be a trying task. Using diverse means to engage and get your students interested help.

Be Ready with Art Supplies

Many of your sessions will involve making arts and crafts. These are a big hit for early learners. Make sure you have a ready corner for when it’s time to make another project. You must have crayons and construction paper, glue and scissors, paint, and more. Remind the parents if there are any supplies needed for the next school sessions so that they can prepare those in advance as well. During virtual classes, you need active participation from parents to help their young child.

Make Room for Music

You’ll need to be ready to use music in your lessons, too. Let the kids explore some of the lessons by listening to a variety of music. Encouraging them to dance or move to the beat is another way for them to tackle ideas. You could set aside an area in your workstation purely for musical learning, so it’ll be easy for you to find what you need. 

Have a Sense of Humor

You can’t survive long in this job if you don’t have a sense of humor. You need to bring that along to class every single time. Not only will making the kids laugh put them at ease; it will also help them remember their lessons better. Children tend to remember classes that they enjoyed or where they laughed. Yes, there are days when it’s hard to laugh. But having that as your goal helps. Even if you don’t always hit the goal, going after that is enough. Kids remember what they love. And if they love your classes because of your sense of humor, they’ll remember the lessons, too, for a long time to come.

Ask for Support

You can’t do this alone. One of the best things about being a preschool teacher is that you can brainstorm ideas with fellow teachers. Ask them about the practices that work for them. In the new normal, teachers are finding new ways to reach out to the kids, make their experience much more interactive, and fun. By asking around, you might discover a few techniques that work or ideas that you haven’t tried out or never would have thought even possible. In the same vein, you can also dispense advice on what works for you and doesn’t. Support for each other is a necessary part of the job. In a time when current circumstances challenge teachers, parents, and kids, having each other’s back, providing support for each other matters.

Nurture Patience

Working with kids means one thing: you need to have a mountain of patience—and then, some more. Kids are going to take their time. They don’t always follow the rules. Sometimes, they don’t know-how. Sometimes, they just don’t want to. It’s your job to get them to read when they don’t want to, especially when you are not there physically. You’ll need to find a way to cajole them or motivate them to stop doodling in the class thread or to start paying attention. You’ll need to do all this without resorting to force or punitive techniques.

Don’t Forget Respect

As a teacher in a school that uses a Montessori-style learning approach, you know that punitive techniques don’t work. At the core of your teaching style is the belief that kids deserve respect. That’s why humiliating them doesn’t work. You want to make sure you correct their behavior in ways that don’t crush their spirit. Instead, you get to the bottom of the issue. You carefully investigate what’s going on with them. This respect informs your teaching style and the way you interact with your students, especially the ones who engage in disruptive behavior.

One of the most common reasons why preschool teachers, why teachers of any kind, continue to work in the field of education is this: love. You genuinely care about your students. You want them—each and every single one—to succeed. You also have tremendous fun. The thought that you go to work and see these kids every day already makes the world a better place. As a preschool teacher, that’s a must-have: you’ll need to enjoy being around kids. If you do, then you know that every day is an adventure. Every day, there are endless chances to have fun.

 ALSO READ: Some of the Best Ways to Motivate your Child to do Well in School

Saba Alam

I am an explorer, blogger, traveller and a creative thinker. I am exploring the world with my creative vision to learn more and more about this optimist world.

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